In Your Dreams

In the wee hours of the morning of May 5th, 2009, I spontaneously had to give a presentation on selling to a large room full of my old colleagues. There was no time to prepare. Speaking off the cuff, I gave an entertaining and interesting performance. I managed to poke fun at the bosses, and deliver some relevant content. The topic of my speech was – three different types of salespeople.

Here are the three types of salespeople as explained to my audience late that night.

1. The Technocrat gets into selling because he loves the product. He’s a student and an expert of the history of the product, its predecessors, and what has happened in the industry and the company to bring the product line to where it is today. She develops a niche for herself, often in the high end of the market. She’s like a professor. She has to push herself to do anything that seems like marketing or sales. Serving on a panel is the most comfortable type of marketing he does. The Technocrat has a lot of respect within his organization. Because he is so knowledgeable, he could do dozens of jobs within the company, product management, design, research and development, or implementation. In politics he would be the policy wonk.

2. The Relator. This salesperson is the one who likes people. The individual who thrives on relationships. At a conference she falls into a networking frenzy, gets so amped up that she need hours to come down, using this time to fire off emails or read the web sites of the people she met. He likes being in service. He also likes to make magic for people, and be remembered for it. For the Relator, the world is abundant. The Relator likes to know who did what to whom and when. He’s not that interested in the new product twist unless it serves clients. In politics, the Relator would be the press liaison.

3. The Deal Junkie. This type of salesperson can be on only one of two roles: running a company or making deals. Money is the scorecard. He loves the thrill of the chase and gets high from winning a bid and closing a deal. She competes, competes, competes. She makes a great salesperson, but she can be dangerous due to her all-out-pursuit-of-a-deal mentality. He loves to win, but hates to lose more. The Deal Junkie is relentless and maybe even ruthless. He thrives on doing something no one else has done before. Well known in the marketplace, he is often the least loved salesperson within his own firm. In politics the Deal Junkie would be the chief of staff.

I remembered this presentation because I’ve committed to spend some time, every morning, dedicated to writing. When I have nothing else to write, I comb through material I’ve stashed in a document folder entitled blog posts. This morning I opened a file I don’t remember creating, called Three Types of Salespeople. Some time during the night of May 4th, 2009, I had a dream. Sometime early in the morning of May 5th, I captured the essence of that dream in a word document. Five years later I re-opened that file for the first time. It was in that dream that I first conceptualized those three types of salespeople, as I gave a talk to a roomful of my former colleagues, while I was sleeping.

If all my speeches could be so good…in my dreams…

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